Animals are far smarter than the average person gives them credit for.

We began our New Year with the usual amount of chaos and hilarity reserved for owners of multiple dogs. Although I may not have mentioned it before I suffer from fibromyalgia, and I spent my New Years Eve at a rock concert doing what I do to pay the bills, photographing rock musicians. This time it was Finger Eleven and it was a hell of a concert. However as I knew it would running up and down stairs at a multi level concert hall all night had me spending New Years day in bed dealing with multiple aches and pains.

Now every time I find myself stuck in bed for the day my dogs have their little rituals to keep me laughing and in good spirits. Animals are intuitive that way. They know when you are feeling poorly and in their own way try to make you feel better. I have noticed that my pack does the same with each other.

Now by this time you are probably thinking “Where is she going with this?” I mean I usually have a point right? Well today would be no different, I do have a point, that point being that animals are far smarter than the average person gives them credit for.

We have been taught to see animals as unthinking unfeeling beings. We credit them with inferior intelligence and scoff at those who believe differently. After all dogs and cats can’t possibly be aware of what’s going on? Or can they?

How do we explain the stories of dogs and cats saving the lives of their owners? The dog who alerts the family to fire, or the cat who tells you your child is gravely ill? If animals are inferior in intelligence how do we explain these types of incidents?

I have experienced this first hand. When my youngest daughter was just an infant my cat saved her life.

It was a bitterly cold winter night in early 1992. My daughter was just a few months old having been born just the September before. She had been born prematurely and as a result struggled with a compromised immune system. Every bug going around seemed to get her and take a deeper hold than it did with most babies. There had been a particularly nasty flu bug going around for a few weeks and I did my best to keep her away from it. No one lives in a completely sterile environment and despite my best efforts she caught it anyway.

After a day of fighting fever and cleaning up baby vomit I was exhausted. Having brought the current bought of fever under control I had managed to ease my baby girl off to sleep and was curled up in bed TV on cat at my feet watching Jay Leno. I would soon drift off into the deep bone exhausted sleep of a Mother with a child still under a year old.

Frantic scratching….horribly distressed meowing….more scratching. I sit up, bleary with sleep and rub my eyes. “What on earth?” I look at the clock, 2 a.m. I get up to investigate the source of the noise to find my cat Cleo outside my daughter’s bedroom door frantically scratching and clawing at the door and meowing frantically. Puzzled I chase the cat away from the door and head back to bed.

Cleo never went into the baby’s room. She avoided it religiously not quite sure what to expect from the small squalling human. So I was absolutely amazed when she began the scratching meowing ritual again before my head hit the pillow. I rose and went back to the hallway outside my daughter’s bedroom door. Thinking that by now this crazy cat had probably woken the baby I opened the door to go in and check on her. The cat shot past me into the room. Damn now I would probably have to fish her out from under some piece of furniture before I could go back to bed. I walked into the room just as the cat leaped into the baby’s crib

What was wrong with this cat? I hurried to get her out of the crib. After depositing the cat on the floor I turned to check on the baby. She was burning up with fever. Taking her temperature I discovered it was extremely high, in fact if I didn’t get her to a doctor immediately she was in danger of going into convulsions. Grabbing my car keys and waking my boyfriend we sped for the emergency room getting there in time to save her life. Cleo had been trying to tell me the baby was sick all along.

No matter what anyone says to the contrary I will always credit the cat with saving my daughter’s life that night. Had she not been so persistent I would never have known my baby’s temperature was rising to deadly levels.

There have been many other stories like this one. Stories in which animals have done amazing things. If you are of the opinion that your dog is just a lump of fur taking up space on your couch perhaps you need tospend more quality time with him. Notice how he always seems to appear to be a comfort to you whenever you are feeling low? Never underestimate how intuitive your furry friend can be. One day it could save your life, or the life of someone you love!

Until Next Time Remember